Alcohol Abuse in Tallahassee, Florida

Florida’s capital and center of trade and agriculture, Tallahassee stands as the 126th largest city in the United States. In 2014 the population of the city was over 375,000 which is almost three times more than the population in 2010, a very significant growth. But no matter how large the city grows, or how fast, it continues to face the same struggles as the rest of the world: alcohol abuse. The condition is everywhere and is completely indiscriminate when it strikes.

In the past years, the way the world views and treats alcoholism has evolved. Since the condition has been classified as a disease, we have begun to treat it as such and this approach has to be very successful. Unfortunately, even now, punishment for drug and alcohol related crimes entail incarceration without the consideration for the disease. Instead of throwing these people into jail, a very non-therapeutic place, they need to be offered treatment. Going to jail only tends to increase the risks of relapsing once out of jail because there is no medicinal or psychiatric help available to help the inmates.

Having a beer or a glass of wine with dinner is one thing, excessively abusing alcohol is another. There comes a point during the abuse where the addiction takes hold, the disease becomes rooted, and there is no longer a choice involved in the drinking. At this point, choosing not to drink is no longer an option.

The Bad News and the Better News

In the beginning, drinking is a choice: we decide to have multiple shots at a party or to drink all day, but eventually the body becomes dependent. What that means is the choice to drink is taken away by the disease and alcoholism has set in. At this stage there are a lot of psychological and physical side effects that can result if you don’t get help, both long and short term.

The physical effects of alcohol abuse can range anywhere from severe discomfort to death. The most serious consequence is alcohol poisoning, which can occur over a long period of drinking or through binge drinking. Binge drinking is mostly common between the ages of 17-28, often in party scenarios, and has shown to have the highest risk of alcohol poisoning. The side-effects of alcohol poisoning are very serious, sometimes fatal, and need to be treated by medical staff immediately. Symptoms such as trouble breathing, seizures, severe vomiting, pale and clammy skin, and suppressed reflexes (which can react in choking) need to be monitored. If you notice any of or multiple symptoms in this field, dial 911 immediately.

There are also psychological consequences of alcohol abuse. These symptoms are usually long-term, but are no less dangerous. Excessive drinking can destroy the cells in the brain, which can lead to seizures, strokes, slurred speech, and slower reactions. Alcohol is also a depressant, which can slow the brain to the point of lacking coordination, having less control over judgment and muscles, confusion, sleep disruption, and in some cases hallucinations. Auditory, visual, and tactile hallucinations have been connected to excessive drinking in extreme situations, but this makes them no less unpleasant or serious. Long term abuse of alcohol has also shown a higher risk of dementia in senior years.

These are the effects that alcohol can have on your body and mind, but there is another aspect in which alcohol can be destructive. Those around you can also suffer from your addiction, whether through seeing you abuse the substance or through direct interaction with you. Alcoholism has been shown to be closely connected with domestic violence, drunk driving, and can even affect your job. No employer wants a worker who comes in hungover on a regular basis, or even comes in drunk. When the disease has taken hold, drinking becomes the number one priority in your life and everything else, like family, friends, and work, comes second.

Enter A Better Today, a recovery service that is leading the industry with fact-based research and techniques built on understanding the disease and the person it affects. We don’t claim to have a magic cure, a one-size-fits-all treatment plan, or an infomercial-style product. What we do proudly claim is the creation of personalized treatment plans tailored to your circumstances. Addiction hits everyone differently, which means treating it requires understanding and compassion.

When you enroll in A Better Today’s treatment, we take you from A to Z. During your stay your withdrawal side-effects will be medicinally managed as your go through our treatment programs, coupled with therapy. ABT offers multiple forms of therapy, the primary forms that we offer being group and individual therapy.

Group therapy is somewhat similar to the way mutual support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous work. You or your loved one will sit in group sessions along with other recovering alcoholics who are going through treatment. The goal with group therapy is to gain insight into your own life and into the lives of others. You and the group will share experiences in this setting, allowing feedback from you and the other recoverees as you work hand-in-hand with an experienced therapist.

In individual therapy the setting is more private. These one-on-one sessions with your therapist are easier for those who find it difficult to share their experiences in a group setting. It also allows you to work more closely with your therapist to gain insight into your life and the addiction itself. Often this is coupled with what is called cognitive behavioral therapy, which delves into the whys of alcohol abuse. It is a common occurrence that the path to addiction was paved with stress and/or peer pressure, or a myriad of other factors that could be hiding. These underlying issues are the ones that started pulling the strings of your mind towards substance abuse and dependence, and in cognitive behavioral therapy the goal is to find out what these factors are specifically.

Other forms of therapy take different approaches, offering creative, positive outlets for stress. These therapies include music and art therapy, equine therapy, strength and yoga therapy (specific locations only), and family therapy. Each of these has their own strengths and can be used in our individualized treatment programs.

Family Therapy is one of the most constructive forms that we offer. All too often addiction ruins the relationships we have with our friends and family. This form of therapy creates a safe environment for these bridges to be mended, old scars to be healed, and communication to be healthy once again.

Even after treatment is complete, A Better Today greatly encourages many of our clients to continue therapy as a means to stay sober. During your stay we will teach you the skills necessary to resist triggers and temptations out in the real world, and these skills will be practiced in a controlled environment. But a controlled environment is not reality, which can be harsher and unforgiving. Continuing your therapy will give you a source accountability and stability as you make your new life. There are also venues such as transitional living, where you can live in a supervised home while you work to get back on your feet.

Getting Away from Triggers

A Better Today knows how hard it is to leave your comfort zone, there’s a reason it carries that name. But while home may have the heart, it also has the reasons you started drinking in the first place (i.e. triggers). Triggers can be anything from a stressful situation that causes your mind to want a drink in order to de-stress to a familiar person you used to drink with. Even seeing a familiar bar or your favorite beer mug can be a trigger. Being surrounded by these things can make your recovery more difficult and could negatively impact your process.

Imagine instead, travelling to an environment free of these triggers where you can recover without the additional stress of resisting triggers. This is why ABT heavily encourages travelling for your treatment. Being away from these things allows you to build a much stronger foundation for healing than if you were to attempt to recover from home.

Nothing should impede your treatment, which is why A Better Today accepts most private insurances, which will often cover most of, if not the entire cost of treatment. Even if you don’t have insurance, don’t fret. ABT has created several reasonable, affordable payment plans that you can use to get you or your loved one the help that is needed and deserved. Call (520) 288-8484 to speak to a member of the ABT team and get the information you need to get started on the road to recovery.

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